Mayor declares public health emergency for measles outbreak

Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Mayor de Blasio has declared a public health emergency in select zip codes in Williamsburg after the measles outbreak in the Orthodox Jewish community has worsened.

As part of the declaration, unvaccinated residents living in those zip codes will be required to receive the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

The Health Department will check the vaccination records of any individual who may have been in contact with infected patients.

Those who have not received the MMR vaccine, or do not have evidence of immunity, may be given a violation or fined $1,000.

“This outbreak is being fueled by a small group of anti-vaxxers in these neighborhoods,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “They have been spreading dangerous misinformation based on fake science.”

The emergency declaration comes after the Health Department issued Commissioner’s Orders to all yeshivas and day care programs to exclude unvaccinated students, or face violations and possible closure.

So far, 285 cases have been confirmed in Williamsburg or Borough Park since October. The majority of those cases have been children under 18.

The outbreak has led to 21 hospitalizations. Five people have been admitted to the intensive care unit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *